Dromtarriffe battled bravely through a last quarter during which they were reduced in numbers, but the city side deserved their victory after creating more chances and ultimately taking more of them too.
St Finbarr’s shot wide nine times — to one Dromtarriffe wide — in a profligate opening half. An indication of their dominance, but also a sign they needed to find some sharp-shooters.
Instead of being in front, St Finbarr’s found themselves chasing the game when 0-5 to 0-2 down at the midway point of the opening half.
To their credit, even though they continued to miss chances, they did come back to draw level as the clock ticked on towards the halfway stage.
It was the combination of Sean Howard and Daniel O’Keeffe who had the Duhallow side in the driving seat, but Conor Dennehy, Cian O’Brien and Eoin Hill struck late for the city side and it was six points apiece in the 30th minute.
St Finbarr’s then fell to O’Keeffe’s speculative long-range delivery that went all the way to the corner of the net to give Dromtarriffe a 1-6 to 0-6 interval lead.
It was level again three minutes into the second half through Kevin Hodgins’ goal.
Buoyed by that score, Finbarr’s continued to rule the roost. Olan Murphy knocked over a point from a 65 and Cormac O’Mahony added anexcellent 41st-minute point before Dromtarriffe pulled one back with a 44th minute free from Howard, his side’s opening score of that second half.
However, within four minutes they were down to 14 men, Danny Mullane being shown a straight red after an umpire drew the attention of referee Dave Farrell to a goalmouth incident.
Goal hero Hodgins added a point immediately to stretch the lead to two points, but Jack Murphy and Sean Howard responded to another point from sub Shane Nott to keep the crowd guessing with just a point between them.
Dromtarriffe launched an offensive but couldn’t force a breakthrough during two minutes of injury-time.
K Hodgins (1-1); C O’Brien, C Dennehy (0-2 each), D O’Connor, E Hill, C O’Mahony, S Nott, O Murphy (65) (0-1 each)
D O’Keeffe (1-2), S Howard (0-5, 2 frees), M O’Connor, J Murphy (0-1 each).
K O’Neill, D O’Meara, A Fitzpatrick, S Goggin, J Goulding, O Murphy, S McCarthy, C O’Mahony, C Dennehy, G McCann, D O’Connor, I O’Callaghan, C O’Brien, K Hodgins, E Hill.
C Buckley for C O’Brien, S Nott for E Hill (ht); K Holland for J Goulding (47); B O’Sullivan for D O’Meara (60)
D Cremin, D O’Donoghue, M O’Brien, D Dennehy, M O’Gormon, J Murphy, C Cremin, K Cremin, D O’Keeffe, D O’connor, D Mullane, N O’riordan, s Howard, O Dennehy, M O’Connor.
D O’Farrell (Mitchelstown)